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Siemens, USC announce $628M in-kind technology grant

Travis Boland
  • Travis Boland
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Students at the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research at the University of South Carolina will soon be working with software provided through an in-kind grant from Siemens. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)Welcome to Brainpower, U.S.A.

That was the nickname Gov. Henry McMaster dubbed the state this morning after the announcement of a partnership between Siemens and the University of South Carolina. The company will be providing a $628 million technology grant to USC.

The in-kind grant will provide Siemen’s product lifecycle management software to USC’s College of Engineering and Computing, and a combination of Siemens automation and controls hardware in a digital factory innovation lab at USC’s McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research.

Bill Kirkland, executive director of USC’s Office of Economic Engagement, said the new partnership represents the top three investments Siemens has made in a university in the United States. He said the initial investment, $160 million, will be used to expand the McNAIR Center.

“By leveraging Siemens software, we hope to improve the way composite parts are made, enhance curriculum to further prepare students to have maximum impact in engineering and computing careers and build a digital engineering lab that will consist of equipment found throughout global industry,” Kirkland said.

Raj Batra, left, president of Siemens Digital Factory Division, and Gov. Henry McMaster share remarks during today's announcement of the company's $628 million tech grant to USC. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)The university-based Digital Factory would be the first of its kind in the United States.

Raj Batra, president of Siemens Digital Factory Division, U.S., said the grant gives back in all different forms.

“With this investment in software and hardware, students and faculty will gets hands on experience with the same state of the art design engineering platforms that are used by leading manufacturers around the world,” Batra said. “The digital revolution that swept through music, travel and retail is now changing the way we design and manufacture complex products such as aircraft, cars, ships, medical devices and electronics.”

USC President Harris Pastides called the announcement and important day in the modern history of the University of South Carolina.

“This lab will be a place where South Carolina companies, U.S. companies and global companies thinking of locating to our state can come and see the world’s leading software applied to robots and other machines in real time,” Pastides said. “Our graduates will have experience in Siemen’s software, ready to take the leading jobs in our state and around the world.”

McMaster said companies are lining up at his door, wanting to come to South Carolina. He quoted U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross that South Carolina is the model of innovation, new ideas and progress in the country.

“The number of companies wanting to do business in the state has accelerated in the last few years due to the assets found here. Major research universities, a strong technical college system and stable energy,” McMaster said. “This collaboration just goes to prove that progress we are making.”

Siemens currently employees nearly 500 in South Carolina.

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